Winter in the Highlands

If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in the winter in Inverness and Loch Ness then read on and find out more. Here we are situated in one of the most stunning areas in the world.

If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in the winter in Inverness and Loch Ness then read on and find out more. Here we are situated in one of the most stunning areas in the world. As a result, we have an array of wonderful places to visit. So we have compiled a list of some of the places we recommend you visit on or around the Loch Ness 360 trail.

River Ness and Ness Islands

Whatever time of year you visit, the River Ness and Ness Islands have something magical about them. And there is something extra special about exploring them in the Winter. Your warm breath in the cold winters air and layers of clothes to warm you. Here you will take in the sounds of the river and its wildlife along the way on a crisp and chilly day. Wander across the array of Victorian bridges that connect each island. Here you can explore each one’s hidden treasures. Hidden bays, cocooned clearings, mature trees with benches dotted around are a few things you will find. And you can even explore this wonder at night as lights romantically illuminate the way. Well maintained pathways lead along the river and around the islands. So it is a great walk for all to enjoy during an Inverness winter!

Urquhart Castle

If you fancy a bit of history then why not visit Urquhart Castle this winter? Open from November to March, daily from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm with last entry being 3.45 pm, you can enjoy a fascinating day out. And all on the banks of Loch Ness. Once this was Scotland’s largest castle witnessing many conflicts during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Changing hands many times it eventually met its demise in 1692. The Britsh Government forces blew it up so that the Jacobite rebels could no longer use it as their fortress. And during the winter it offers a spectacular Scottish setting. Bare trees, low moody light and sometimes snow-dusted hills envelop the loch. All can be viewed from this historical ruin. A truly spectacular sight to behold and one of the best places to visit in the winter!

Glenmoriston Footprints

If historical tales of the fascinating unknown excite you then you may want to pay a visit to these footprints. Said to have been imprinted in the ground East of the Torgolye bridge, by a preacher. No grass has grown on them since his sermon back in 1827! And you can see these footprints to this day. Here you can take a short walk along to the Cairn where this phenomenon lies. It is quite fascinating! You can read more about this intriguing story here.

Cameron’s Tearoom

Cameron’s Tearoom is a delightful place to head to on a winters day. Here you can snuggle up and enjoy some delicious food and explore the lovely range of gifts in their shop. And as you do you can look out over the stunning Scottish winter scenery. Enjoy your food and watch the Highland Cows enjoy theirs. Furthermore, you can pop outside and see the rescued reindeer residents who always enjoy a pat. Situated on the southside of Loch Ness between Inverness and Fort Augustus this tearoom lies a quarter of a mile from the Falls of Foyer. It’s a perfect stop for refreshments after a trip there. So head along and enjoy a hearty meal and some of Morag and her staff’s divine home baking!

An Talla by Loch Ness

Always a great place to stop, An Talla sits on the banks of the Caledonian canal. Here you can enjoy a first-class shopping experience with high-end gifts. Inspired by Thomas Telford the Loch Ness collection offers a beautifully crafted range of gifts. And they are only available to buy here. Furthermore, you can dine in their restaurant and enjoy a range of seasonal dishes. So head along on a chilly winters day for some retail therapy.

Caledonian Canal

Here at the Caledonian Canal, you can enjoy a lovely winters walk, cycle or run. Stretching through part of the Great Glen way this towpath links the Great Glen Way with the South Loch Ness Trail offering a choice of routes to explore. Be it a more exerted hike or a simple stroll you can choose whatever you fancy. Whatever you do along this unique waterway, you will enjoy an array of spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Another of the best places to visit this winter!


Another great place to visit during winter in the Highlands is Drumnadrochit. Not only does it have a truly Scottish name it offers a truly Scottish experience. Located on the northern shore of Loch Ness this village is surrounded by glens, including Glen Urquhart and Glen Moriston. And it is here that Nessie Land and the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre are located. Perfect for a ‘dreich’ Scottish day as there is much to do. And makes for a great family day out.

Drumnadrochit in the Highlands

John Cobb Memorial

Another great place to visit on a winters day in the Highlands is the John Cobb memorial. It was here on Loch Ness that John Cobb died trying to break the water speed record. Having broken the Land Speed record three times he successfully reached 206.89mph on the first run on the water. However, due to rules saying time speed records require two runs, he attempted the second one. And this was when he tragically lost his life after hitting an ‘unexplained wake’ in the water on 29th September 1952. Nessie enthusiasts believe the monster had something to do with this. Now, you can visit the memorial of John Cobb. Just 1 mile south of Urquhart Castle, overlooking the loch sits a beehive-shaped cairn. Known as the ‘Gentle Giant’ this quiet unassuming man will always be remembered at Loch Ness.

Loch Ness 360 trail

And of course, there is the Loch Ness 360 trail to add to this list. All the above destinations are accessible from the trail. However, you can explore any section of this wonderful route at your own accord. Each section offers its own bit of magic. Whatever you chose to do you will not be disappointed. During the winter months, the views are spectacular. This really is one of the best places to visit in the winter. So come along and see what it is all about!

Dog Walking Holidays

Looking for the perfect adventure with your dog? Look no further than the wonderful Loch Ness 360 ° trail. Dog Walking Holidays

Looking for the perfect adventure with your dog? Look no further than the wonderful Loch Ness 360° Trail. Dog Walking Holidays don’t get much better than this spectacular 80-mile loop around the entirety of Loch Ness. On the trail, you can even enjoy a range of activities with your dog, such as a canoe session on Loch Ness with In Your Element. Or you can enjoy a nature boat ride or go dolphin spotting with your dog with Dolphin Spirit.

The Loch Ness 360 ° Trail is fully dog friendly. All we ask is that you respect the countryside access code and look after the trail, our nature and farming stock whilst walking responsibly with your dog.

Loch Tarff in the Autumn with golden bracken in the foreground

Enjoying Nature Trails and Wildlife

During your explorations of the Loch Ness trail, you are sure to experience the most wonderful scenery and nature. The trail is well known for its deer, birdlife, squirrels and other popular animals that dogs love to chase! Furthermore, we enjoy a wide number of floor nesting birds and primarily grounded birds. Such as pheasant and grouse. During your explorations, please protect our wildlife and keep your dog close at all times.

Dog Friendly Accommodation Loch Ness

First things first! Let’s find some dog-friendly accommodation, Loch Ness. Whether you chose to stay in one of our many hotels, B&Bs or self-catering options, or if you want to glamp or wild camp, we have a wide selection of options available all around the loch. To help you find dog-friendly accommodation Loch Ness on Loch Ness, below we have listed accommodation options around the loch starting from Drumnadrochit. This then leads you along the north of Loch Ness to the farthest tip at Fort Augustus. From here, we follow dog-friendly accommodation along the south side back to Inverness:

Family in bed with dog on floor

Dog Walking Holidays, Trail Accommodation


The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

The Corriegarth, Inverness

The Royal Hotel, Inverness

North Loch Ness

Loch Ness Highland Cottages, North Loch Ness

Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge, Drumnadrochit

The Loch Ness Inn, Drumnadrochit

Benleva Hotel, Drumnadrochit

Ancarraig Lodges Loch Ness, North Loch Ness

Eagle Brae, North Loch Ness

Farthest Tip at Fort Augustus

Kettle House, Fort Augustus

South Loch Ness Trail Accommodation

Loch Ness Shores Campsite and Glamping, Nr Fort Augustus

Camerons Tearoom & Cottage, Foyers, South Loch Ness

The Whitebridge Hotel, Whitebridge, South Loch Ness

Foyers Lodge, Foyers

The Craigdarroch Inn, Foyers, South Loch Ness

Dog Friendly Places to Eat on the Loch Ness 360 Trail

Likewise, when looking for dog-friendly walking holidays, finding dog friendly restaurants is also important. We have a range of pubs and dog-friendly cafes listed below to help you. Also, we have included a list of takeaways, so you can sit and eat Al Fresco with your dog:

Man with dog in lap at a cafe

North Loch Ness

The Clansman, North Loch Ness

Fort Augustus

The Loch Inn, Fort Augustus

South Loch Ness

The Craigdarroch Inn, Foyers, South Loch Ness

Camerons Tearoom & Cottage, Foyers, South Loch Ness

Waterfall Cafe, Foyers


Black Isle Brewery Bar, Inverness

The Snow Goose, Inverness

Cafe Nero, Inverness

Lady sitting in a forest with her dog

Dog Friendly Walking Holidays

If you need any more help organising or planning your dog walking holidays around the Loch Ness 360° Trail, please do contact us. Or, for more information on walking smaller sections of the trail, we have split the 80 mile trail into 6 sections for you to explore. We also have a list of other dog walks for you to enjoy whilst on holiday in our lovely area of the Scottish Highlands.

Two stags rutting with one another

Autumn in the Highlands

If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in the Autumn, when on the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail, then read on.

Best Places to Visit in the Autumn when on the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail

If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in the Autumn, when on the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail, then read on. Here we have pulled together a list of where we think you would love to visit when you visit us here in the Highlands. Crunching leaves, earthy smells and a canvas of red, gold and yellow… a Scottish experience to behold.

The Great Glen Way

No matter what time of year you visit, The Great Glen Way is truly spectacular. This fabulous trail forms part of the North Side of the Loch Ness 360 trail leading you through some of Scotlands most beautiful scenery. Connecting Fort Augustus and Dores you can walk run or cycle it and are guaranteed to have an experience of a lifetime. Given this side of the trail is high up you get magnificent views of the Autumn scenery and Loch Ness below. Furthermore, you can choose to explore the full length of this section. Or you can simply meander parts of it at your own leisure. Snaking through the dramatic landscape the beauty of this trail in Autumn is breathtaking. Absorb scenes, as you ramble along… golden trees licking the lochside and river, enveloping picturesque pathways and carpeting the landscape around you. High on the north side of the trail colours of yellow and gold blanket the valley, hugging the loch. As a result, making this one of the best Autumn destinations in Scotland.

The River Moriston surrounded br Autumnal trees on the Great Glen Way
The River Moriston in Autumn

Deer Rutting Season

Being one of our famous occupants in Scotland and drawing many visitors, this is a great time of year to spot deer. Autumn marks the beginning of the Deer Rutting Season. To explain, this is when red stags gather groups of female deer to mate with. And of course, with other stags to contend with, frictions rise for the female attention. Thus resulting in a battle. During this dramatic act the stags roar and lock antlers in an exhausting feat. Consequently, they can lose up to 20% of their body weight. And the winner then has the task of covering his ladies! If you are lucky, from September to early November, you can hear the sounds of this battle as it commences as you are unlikely to see it. But remember, if you do, stay safe, stay quiet, keep a distance, keep dogs on leads and respect these magnificent animals.

Two stags rutting with one another
Stags rutting

Invermoriston’s famous bridge

As you head north of Fort Augustus, 7 miles along, you enter the small village of Invermoriston. Arching across the River Moriston, and built-in 1813, is the Thomas Telford bridge. Formally, it was used to bridge the road between Drumnadrochit and Fort Augustus. Since a new bridge has been built and the public can now walk across the original and stand in awe of the dramatic scene that unfolds beneath you. As you can imagine this place is spectacular in the Autumn time. Trees cocoon the ravine and beneath the falls put on an exuberant display. Additionally, at this time you can watch the salmon leaping as they make their way upstream to reproduce. Early morning and evening, especially after rain are the best times to see this in action.

Invermoriston Thomas Telford bridge surrounded by Autumnal tress
Invermoriston Thomas Telford bridge in Autumn

Cruise your way along Loch Ness

There is no better way to absorb a large expanse of Autumn landscape than with a cruise along Loch Ness. Jacobite Cruises in Dochgarroch and Cruise Loch Ness in Fort Augustus offer a fabulous experience. As you cruise the waters the vista before you is dressed in Autumnal colours. Therefore, making this one the best places to see autumn leaves in all their glory. And if you are lucky you may spot our famous monster lurking beneath the dark waters beneath you trying to catch a glimpse!

A view up Loch Ness from a cruise boat
A view from a Cruise going along Loch Ness

Falls of Foyer

South of Loch Ness is the breathtaking Falls of Foyer. Here this dramatic gorge is home to a spectacular waterfall and is one of the best places to visit in the Autumn. A short walk along a well-maintained path guides you down a steep slope. Here you end up at a viewpoint overlooking the falls. Gasp in awe as this 140ft waterfall plunges to the deep, dark pool below. Trees and vegetation burst from the surrounding rocks and landscape, dressing this scene in colours of red, gold, yellow and brown in the Autumn. And a little drive on you can stop for refreshments in a magical tearoom. Cameron’s Tearoom serves up delicious food in a spectacular, secluded location and is well worth a visit.

The Falls of Foyer in the Autumn
Falls of Foyer in Autumn

Loch Tarff

Coming from Fort Augustus and just before the Falls of Foyer lies Loch Tarff which is stunning in the Autumn. Encased by rolling hills and lush landscape you find your own little piece of heaven. In Autumn the loch is swathed by Autumn colours creating a place of beauty and tranquillity to escape to. Here you can walk a section of the south section of the Loch Ness 360 trail. From here you have a spectacular view as the path meanders gently up the hillside. Blanketed beneath you is an array of bursting vibrant colour.

Loch Tarff in the Autumn with golden bracken in the foreground
Loch Tarff in Autumn


No trip is complete without a trip to Dores. Situated on the East side of Loch Ness this famous pebbled beach is home to the famous viewpoint up the loch. Additionally, it is home to the famous Nessie hunter Steve Feltham whose caravan nestles on the shores. Furthermore, you can have a go at some Nessie hunting yourself through the binoculars stationed on the beach. And if you want to stretch your legs you can follow a circular walk then enjoy some refreshments at The Dores Inn. Given its location the Autumnal views here are spectacular. Mountainous hills drop either side of the loch crowning it in flourishing colours of Autumn.

The pebbled beach at Dores
Dores beach with the famous view up Loch Ness


And of course, any location you visit this Autumn you can look out for some of our famous wildlife along the way. Red squirrels, deer, pheasants, salmon, Highland cows, otters, eagles are just a handful of what you can spot. As you meander the golden landscape and absorb the views keep an eye out for what may make a special appearance. Important to point out is respecting animals and their environment so they can live in peace while we enjoy seeing them.

A red squirrel
A red squirrel among Autumn leaves

Loch Ness 360 Trail

Much of the surrounding areas of Loch Ness can be explored via the Loch Ness 360 trail. And there is no better time than Autumn to explore when the landscape is at its most spectacular. Explore all six sections or simply sample parts. Whatever you choose to see and do we can guarantee that Autumn in the Highlands is an unforgettable experience. We look forward to welcoming you!

Running in the Scottish Highlands
The Loch Ness 360 Trail


So if you plan to come and visit this Autumn you will be looking for accommodation. And with an abundance of places to stay, you are spoilt for choice. Here you can explore a variety of options such as hotels, self-catering, camping, guesthouses, hostels and more. Wherever you choose to stay you are sure to have a memorable trip when you visit this stunning part of the world.

Highland Villages on the LN360° Trail

While exploring the trail, be sure to stop off at one of these Loch Ness villages. Enjoy the scenery, grab a bite to eat and take in …

Villages to visit around Loch Ness

The Loch Ness 360° Trail is a full circuit route around the vast expanse of water that is Loch Ness. Covering some 80 miles, it passes through many interesting places. While exploring the trail, be sure to stop off at one of these Loch Ness villages. Enjoy the scenery, grab a bite to eat and take in some local history …


Found in Section One of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Abriachan is a tiny village on the north side of Loch Ness, along the Great Glen Way. Here, you’ll find Abriachan Nurseries and Garden, where you can enjoy woodland walks in the tranquil gardens, or visit the nursery, where you can buy from a huge range of plants. There are also many nearby woodland and moorland walks laid out by the Abriachan Forest Trust. There are a number of different trails to explore, from short strolls to longer hikes.

Signposts at Abriachan on the Great Glen Way


The end point for Section One and starting point for Section Two of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Drumnadrochit sits on the north side of Loch Ness, along the Great Glen Way. Famous for its links with the Loch Ness Monster, attractions include Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, Nessieland and Urquhart Castle. The village green has tourist shops, pubs, cafes and good local facilities. Nearby hill Meall Fuar-Mhonaidh is a great local climb with stunning views on a clear day.

View of Urquhart Castle from Loch Ness


The end point for Section Two and starting point for Section Three of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Invermoriston is a small village on the north side of Loch Ness, along the Great Glen Way. The Invermoriston Falls and Thomas Telford’s Bridge are popular attractions. There are also a few shops and cafes. Climb to the top of Sròn Na Muic for spectacular views of Loch Ness.

Old stone bridge at Invermoriston with river flowing below and people walking across

Fort Augustus

The end point for Section Three and starting point for Section Four of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Fort Augustus lies at the bottom of Loch Ness, where the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail meet. A busy little village on the Caledonian Canal with lots of tourist shops and places to eat and drink. Many people enjoy watching the boats coming through the locks on the canal from here.

Water gateway in Fort Augustus


Found in Section Four of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Whitebridge is a very small village on the south side of Loch Ness, along the South Loch Ness Trail. There is a hotel with bar and restaurant. The main attraction here is the Wade Bridge, an 18th century bridge which forms part of a series of military roads, constructed under the direction of General George Wade.

Historic Bridge at Whitebridge, South Loch Ness


The end point for Section Four and starting point for Section Five of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Foyers is a small village on the south side of Loch Ness, along the South Loch Ness Trail. Visit here for the Fall of Foyers, a magnificent waterfall near the shores of Loch Ness. There is a café and shop here too.

The Falls of Foyers, waterfall on the River Foyers


The end point for Section Five and starting point for Section Six of the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Dores is a tiny village on the south side of Loch Ness, along the South Loch Ness Trail. Popular for Beach Walks with great views of the loch. Local pub, The Dores Inn offers refreshments and homecooked meals.

View of Loch Ness from Dores beach with flowers in the foreground

LN360° : The Story So Far

The story of the Loch Ness 360° Trail so far. From the beginnings of the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail to the joining …

The Loch Ness 360° Trail is a long-distance walking and cycling route, developed by Visit Inverness Loch Ness. To create this epic route, which loops around the whole of Loch Ness, we joined two great Scottish trails together. Here’s the story so far …

2002 … The Great Glen Way is launched

The first of these trails is the Great Glen Way. A long-distance path, which opened in 2002 and is maintained by the Great Glen Ways Partnership (The Highland Council, Scottish Canals and Forestry Commission Scotland). 79 miles / 127 km in total, it follows the Great Glen, from Inverness to Fort William via Fort Augustus, on the northern side of Loch Ness.  Taking 4-7 days to complete, the route is mainly low-level, yet challenging in sections. It quickly became popular with walkers and cyclists and is one of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Great Trails.

Cyclist passing The Viewpoint sculpture on the Great Glen Way high route

2011 … We introduce The South Loch Ness Trail

Next came the South Loch Ness Trail in 2011. Visit Inverness Loch Ness developed this trail, reaching from Loch Tarff to Inverness. The path is 36 miles / 58 km long and follows the wilder, more unspoilt south side of the loch, with varied scenery and superb views down onto the famous waters.  

Walker on the South Loch Ness Trail between Whitebridge and Foyers

2018 … The two trails form The Loch Ness 360° Trail

At this point, there was the Great Glen Way starting in Inverness and passing through Fort Augustus on the way to Fort William. And the South Loch Ness Trail, which started in Loch Tarff, just above Fort Augustus and went up to Inverness. So, there was just one additional path needed to connect Fort Augustus and Loch Tarff. This would allow walkers to leave the Great Glen Way at Fort Augustus, and continue along the South Loch Ness Trail back to Inverness. Thus creating a full loop around the world-famous Loch Ness. What a great idea!

In 2018, Visit Inverness Loch Ness opened a final section of path, linking Loch Ness’s two spectacular trails together. We called this new complete loop, starting and ending in Inverness, the Loch Ness 360° Trail. Split into six recommended sections, walkers can do the whole loop over six days, one section per day. Cyclists may be able to complete two sections per day.

Loch Tarff on the South Loch Ness Trail in summer

2022 … Loch Ness Challenge coming soon

The latest chapter in our story, is the launch of our exciting new sporting event. Happening for the first time this spring, the Loch Ness Challenge is a three-day festival of running and cycling, which offers the choice of:

1. Running three marathons over three days around the whole of Loch Ness. (Or, running one or two of the marathons).

2. Runnning an ultra marathon around the full 129km of the trail. 

3. Cycling the full trail in the mountain bike challenge.

The challenges will test participants’ strength and stamina. Most the trail is off road on a mixture of built trail, rough tracks and forest paths. The event takes place between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd May 2022. If you’re interested in entering, you can find out more here.

Man running along the Loch Ness Trail in winter

That’s The Story So Far …

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Preparing for the Loch Ness Challenge Ultra Marathon

What Makes An Ideal Ultra For You? An epic course, constantly changing terrain and slick logistics all set in a truly iconic location?

The second in our series of blogs from ultra-athlete and journalist Sean McFarlane. If you’re planning on taking on the Loch Ness Ultra Marathon Challenge, read on for some expert tips

What makes an ideal ultra for you?

An epic course, constantly changing terrain and slick logistics all set in a truly iconic location? Yup, thought so, and that’s what makes the Loch Ness Challenge the ultra to do in 2022. Make no mistake, this is big stuff. 80 miles long with over 10,000 feet of ascent, it’s a huge day and a challenge like nothing else. Yet this is an extraordinary event within the grasp of many. It really is amazing what you can do with some decent training and smart decisions on race day, combined with a head and body committed to getting to the finish.

An anti-clockwise route starting and finishing in Dores on the north east edge of Loch Ness, the race goes around Scotland’s most famous body of water and takes in plenty of other stuff en route. At times you’ll be heading well away from the loch, helping to feel deeply immersed in this most stunning of landscapes. One distinctive aspect of the Loch Ness 360 ﹾ is the varied terrain. With its wide forest roads to narrow single track, and newly built gravel paths to hairpins ascents and descents, you can guarantee that boredom will never be an issue.

Running along path with Loch Ness in background

Preparation and nutrition are key

The event really is all about those who can keep going forward and slow down the least. Time on feet in your training is particularly important, pace less so. Also look to mentally break things up during the race, using all the landmarks and places dotted around the trail to do so. Don’t view it as an 80-mile event and consider it as say 8 ten-mile runs. The variety of the Loch Ness 360 ﹾ makes it perfect for creating manageable chunks in your head.

As for the all important issue of nutrition, the trick is constant grazing. Test your nutrition on longer runs in training and go with what works for you. Remember taste is important, so consider using some real food. Make clear notes of the aid stations and what is available at each one.  They’re conveniently spaced at regular intervals so make sure you know where they are. Remember you can send stuff in advance to the aid station at Fort Augustus at 49.5 miles in. Avoid carrying too much, unless you really want to.

So what can you expect on race day?


Ultras have a habit of starting at all times of day. Here it’s a 10 pm start so do what you can to cope with that. Adjust your body clock, take caffeine nutrition at the appropriate time, mentally prepare for and accept dips in moods and enthusiasm. With a good plan and mental approach, the body will follow.

Getting Started

Don’t get caught up in racing from the off. Find a rhythm and even a friend or two and let yourself settle into things from the start. The field will spread out very quickly so just jog, relax and take it all in. Inverness is your first major landmark and a good place to take stock of things.

Keeping Going

Heading through the city you climb out onto its western side and from here it’s through the forest and then onto the back road at Blackfold, well away from the loch for the time being. Into Abriachan, it’s now a wide forest trail which eventually narrows up and spits you out just above Drumnadrochit. Into the town you then climb out once more and from here to Fort Augustus you take the aptly called “high route”. . This really is a tough section as you climb, traverse, descend and repeat, so just do what you can to get it done. Walk, eat, stretch. Anything you like. And remember that with effort comes reward so take some time along the way to soak up some of the finest views on the planet.

You will eventually reach Fort Augustus, a good old town and gloriously infected by all things Nessie. There’ll no doubt be several admiring tourists and for good reason – you’re now on the final push of this epic adventure. The newly built gravel path out of the town is a steep and long climb so be mindful not to overcook things here. You’re well into the ‘absolutely fine to walk’ territory.

Things level out above Loch Tarff and now is the time, more than ever, to stop and marvel. In any conditions this is a special place and view. Scotland at its unbeatable best. Gather the energy around and head down when you’re ready, through the felled forest, along the river and into Foyers. The end is now almost in sight, well if it wasn’t for the trees. For those of you still running at this point, enjoy but pay attention on the impressive single track to Inverfarigaig. Once there, you’re onto the final climb (I promise) up the broken tarmac known locally as the Corkscrew.

Crossing the Finish Line

Your wheels may well be coming off now, but rest assured everyone else’s are too. And really by now who cares? Things level out and then you’re through the woods and down the classic zig zagging path called Fair Haired Lad’s Pass with Loch Ness in full display in front of you. Muster any last energy to head through the forest and finally onto Dores where it all began.

Two men running near Loch Ness

The Ultra to do in 2022

If you can honestly think of a more epic, memorable and rewarding physical challenge this year, we don’t believe you!

A Marathon Resolution

New year, new you. How are those resolutions going? No meat, dairy or alcohol? And soon no laughing or talking no doubt!

In the first of a series of blogs, ultra-athlete and journalist Sean McFarlane talks about setting targets and entering 2020’s newest Inverness marathon – the Loch Ness Challengeﹾ.

New year, new you

How are those resolutions going? No meat, dairy or alcohol? And soon no laughing or talking no doubt! Most of us either start the year by going without something, or at least considering it. How about sporting challenges? They’re also firmly on the radar of several of us at this time of year. Hands up who’s entered an ironman? And hands up who actually knows what an ironman involves?! Striking that vital balance of finding something that is ambitious but realistic is all-important but very difficult to do. Running events of some sort or other have long been the most common of such targets, and for good reason. From 5k fun runs to ultras, there’s plenty to choose from. A marathon is undoubtedly a great challenge and more established than really anything else. But why not avoid the tarmac this year and take your pick of a choice of three off-road Inverness marathons, set right in the heart of Scotland’s most famous location?

Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness

What is the Loch Ness Challenge?

The Loch Ness 360ﹾ trail, an off-road track of 80 miles around Loch Ness, is perfect for a whole host of outdoor activities, none more so than running. The end of May this year sees three marathon distance events run on consecutive days around this world-famous body of water. It starts on Friday 29th with a race from Dores to Drumnadrochit. Then Saturday 30th sees competitors run from Drumndrochit to Fort Augustus with finally Sunday 31st having competitors heading from Fort Augustus to Dores. Take your pick from any of the three or do all three! And just in case that’s not enough for you there’s even a race of 80 miles taking in the entire trail!

Dores to Drumnadrochit

The first off-road Inverness marathon race is from Dores to Drumnadrochit and being on a Friday requires a day off work for most. What better excuse do you need? Starting by the lochside, you’ll soon climb away from the water then head along the trail, wide to start with then narrowing up at Torbreck and from here round the south-west side of Inverness itself. No time to relax though as you climb again to the north of the city and out eventually to Abriachan high above the loch on its north-west side.

From here it’s more forest trail which narrows up before the trees fall away and you see the magnificent Urquhart Castle. Not far now but still a few miles before reaching Drumnadrochit and the finish line. What a way to start the weekend!

a runner in the hills of Scotland

Drumnadrochit to Fort Augustus

Saturday’s route sees you quickly pulling up high out of Drumnadrochit and onto the forest track. After plenty of very pleasant forest running, you descend into Invermoriston. What goes down must go up though, or something like that, and climb you do out of the village to more forest trails of varying width. On several occasions, the trees lessen and you’ll catch a glimpse or two of the loch.

Then the trees thicken once more and as they do you descend into them and the outskirts of Fort Augustus. Try to avoid the Nessie hunters, all snapping photos of anything monster related. The finish line is in the centre of town. You’ve thoroughly earned your pint, or two, tonight.

running men in the Highlands of Scotland

Fort Augustus to Dores

Sunday’s offering is back to Dores where all the fun began. Perhaps the most defining aspect of the Loch Ness 360ﹾ trail is its ever-changing terrain, which fundamentally adds to its enjoyment. And that changing terrain is very much on display on this route. First climbing on the perfect smooth gravel trail out of Fort Augustus, the beauty of the track does somewhat alleviate the pain of climbing up to over 400 metres and the signature location of the whole Loch Ness 360ﹾ trail. Above Loch Tarff, in
any weather, is special.

Even if you’re in the lead at this point, stop, even just for a few seconds and marvel. This is why we run, so pause to reflect on how lucky we are to be able to do so. Ok leaders crack on, others feel free to gaze a bit longer! From here the trail meanders so pay attention and enjoy. It’s not difficult to do. Resist the strong temptation to stop at Cameron’s Tea room in Foyers, or not! This south-east side of the Loch has a very different feel to its northwestern cousin. Far less busy but equally if not even more worthwhile, certainly for us on two feet.

Soak it up and have fun on the surprisingly technical section to Inverfarigaig. More climbing follows up the broken tarmac and hairpins, aptly named the Corkscrew by locals. From here, that ever-changing terrain is once more on full display as you head through the Fair Haired Lad’s Pass and the winding and loose descent.

Hopefully down in one piece, a final section of forest track and road is all that lies between you and the finish in Dores. Which Inverness marathon race to do? It’s a genuine dilemma. So forget abstaining from things in January and instead enter one of these truly iconic events!

An Insider’s Guide to the Loch Ness 360° Marathon Routes

New year, new you? Kick up a gear and enter Scotland’s newest marathon races – the Loch Ness 360ﹾ Challenge, near Inverness.

Scotland’s newest marathon route, the Loch Ness 360° trail, will welcome runners from all over the world for the first time in 2020. Combining stunning views and challenging terrain, it’s going to be a race to remember. As it is brand new, we thought you might like a few marathon running tips from local runners who know the route, and can give you a few tips to prepare for the run.

Now, there are three marathon routes in total to be run over three days. You can enter one, two or all three marathons. 

Route 1 is from Dores to Drumnadrochit. This is the best marathon to enter if trail running is new to you and are looking for a challenge or wish to try something new.

Route 2 is from Drumnadrochit to Fort Augustus. This is a testing route, and by far the most challenging.  It should only be attempted by experienced and confident trail runners. 

Route 3 is from Fort Augustus back to Dores. The challenge level of this route sits in between the first two. It’s great for experienced runners who want to enjoy both a challenging trail and the scenic view. 

Tips for running Marathon 1 – Dores to Drumnadrochit

This marathon is the best one to run if you have never attempted trail running before, but want to give yourself a challenge. And the challenge begins straightaway, as this section almost immediately takes you steeply uphill. This won’t be something you’re used to if you have only previously run on flat roads. Our advice is to make sure you’re fully warmed up before starting, and take this part easy. Shooting off at top speed from the starting gun will only see you suffer soon down the line. 

This route takes you into Inverness city centre, running safely on the pavement here. After a couple of miles through this beautiful city, you will rejoin the Great Glen Way and head towards Craig Dunain Hill. Here you will meet another rise, this time of around 700 feet. This is a nice section of the trail where you will run through wild woods.

When you come out, you’ll have a couple of miles on a road, then enter some more woods. It’s a great way to finish, as you’ll have a steep descent down towards Drumnadrochit. 

If you are planning on running this route, don’t expect to match – or come anywhere near – your usual road-running marathon times. This is a completely different type of race. The best training to do in advance is to practice running on hills. Get out on rough ground when you’re training to get a feel for the ground beneath you. 

As with all our routes, there are cutoff points and aid stations all the way. Make sure you take advantage of these, and the energy drinks and food too.

This is a challenging, but do-able, route for your first trail run. Good luck!

Tips for running Marathon 2 – Drumnadrochit to Fort Augustus

This is, by far, the hardest marathon of all three. There’s a total ascent of 1,250 metres, and it doesn’t give up. There’s a sharp rise from Drumnadrochit before heading towards the Great Glen Way. There aren’t any road sections for around 9 miles as you head towards Invermoriston. 

You’ll run across what’s known as the “High Route”, and as you can imagine it’s quite a climb to get there. The views are worth it though, and this section gives you a true sense of running in the wilderness. But it is testing, so don’t lose focus.

There’s a sharp descent coming up towards Invermoriston, but then you’re running uphill straight away again. This is going to be your slowest mile on the whole section.  When we said there’s no respite on this route, we meant it! However, once you get over this mile, you’ll be treated to fantastic views again. 

Fort Augustus is where you will end up, but it’s not going to be as easy as you hoped. Once you get here, there are a few more miles to run along the River Oich before, finally, finishing at Morag’s Lodge and earning a good rest. 

Make no mistake, this route is a big challenge. But if you succeed, you’ll be one of the first to have accomplished this marathon section of the Loch Ness 360° trail. 

Tips for running Marathon 3 – Fort Augustus to Dores

The challenge level of this route sits in between the first two, in that it is achievable for casual yet experienced trail runners. 

You’ll start a little uphill from Fort Augustus, and head out onto perhaps the most scenic and varied of the routes. Ranging from very high quality to more basic paths, you’ll enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness. 

As you wind your way towards Foyers, you’ll first need to run up to the highest point of the whole trail: The Suidhe. You can then look forward to a 7km climb up towards the Fair Haired Lad’s Pass. All in all, there is approximately 1000m of ascent on this section, but the final stretch towards Dores is, fortunately, mostly downhill. 

Choose your marathon!

Whatever you choose – some or all of the marathons – you’ll have a great experience with us. The views are going to be unlike anything you’ve run before, and the feeling when you cross that finish line will be one of the best yet.

For more information on the challenge and how to enter, visit our overview.

Loch Ness 360˚ Trail and Inverness Mountain Biking

Touring Loch Ness and Inverness mountain biking is a thrilling way to see the area. See more in a day than walking, and visit areas you can’t reach by car.

A man and friends biking in the woods.

Touring Loch Ness and Inverness mountain biking is a thrilling way to see the area. See more in a day than walking, and visit areas you can’t reach by car. Up hills and along forest paths, it’s a thrilling ride that takes you along the loch’s banks and through beautiful Highland towns and villages. 

The Loch Ness 360˚ trail is one of the newest outdoor trails in Scotland, and has been planned out so that it is as accessible to mountain bikers. There are just a few minor tweaks to make to the standard walking trail to ensure safety for all. 

For convenience, the trail is split into 6 sections. On mountain bike, we recommend following two sections per day to get the most out of your trip. This means it can be done over a long weekend, or over a few days throughout the year. Just pick a couple of sections that take your fancy and ride! The best thing is, the trails change so much throughout the year from spring to winter that doing them at different times can feel like completely different rides. 

We’ve written a full description and overview of sections all the routes, but below highlights some of the changes you will need to make on a mountain bike.

A man pauses on his bike in the hills.

LN360˚ Sections 1 & 2

If you plan on starting the trail from Inverness, you’ll take the route of the Great Glen Way. Opened in 2002, Scottish Natural Heritage designated it as one of Scotland’s Great Trails. It’s a stunning route, and you will begin it in front of Inverness Castle. You’ll cross the Caledonian Canal and cycle away from Inverness and towards Loch Ness. 

As you continue cycling, Inverness will fade into the distance. You will head along towards Drumnadrochit. Follow the guidance on the section 1 route as written – there are no changes required for mountain bikers. 

Section 2 does require a modification. After you set off from Drumnadrochit, you will head towards Invermoriston. At stage 3, we advise mountain bike users to select the Great Glen Way low route here. 

LN360˚ Sections 3 & 4

On the second day of the trail, you will begin in the lovely village of Invermoriston. There is a Thomas Telford bridge here that is worth a look before you set off. Follow the trail set out in the main section. The only amendment here is on your way to Fort Augustus, take the alternative  low-level route. Just use the signage for Great Glen Way low route.

Section 4 of the trail starts in Fort Augustus. It’s worth spending some time in Fort Augustus – there are some excellent pubs serving terrific local food. You can watch the canal activity as you eat. Once re-stocked, you can continue up towards Foyers. There is a part of Loch Ness 360˚ trail between Inverfarigaig and Foyers which is not suitable for cyclists. The alternate route is via Glen Lia (Gleann Liath).

A group of friends chatting on their bikes.

LN360˚ Sections 5 & 6

On the final leg of this Loch Ness 360˚ cycle trail, you will begin your day in Foyers. This is a great spot to get in some Nessie hunting! Once you start your journey, continue along towards Dores. There is an alternative route here that is suitable for cyclists.  Take the low-level alternative between Torbreck Woods and Dores, and not the route over Drumashie Moor. The best route for mountain bikes can be taken by following the cycle route at the side of the B862 to Scaniport (Sustrans Route 78).

In Section 6, simply enjoy the trip all the way back to Inverness as described – no alterations, no amendments, just some excellent trail riding!

We hope you love your time around Loch Ness and Inverness mountain biking. Remember to stay in touch and let us know of any problems, hidden gems or excellent service you get. And share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram – we love seeing them!

Respecting Scotland’s Nature and Animals

The Scottish Highlands can be a little strange to people visiting from a loud and hectic city. To be suddenly enveloped…

The Scottish Highlands can be a little strange to people visiting from a loud and hectic city. To be suddenly enveloped in the absolute peace and tranquillity of Loch Ness can take people aback. Wild animals run through fields as rare birds fly overhead. It can feel liberating as if there is no-one else for miles. This, unfortunately, can lead some people to think they are free to act as they please and treat Loch Ness’ nature and general area however they would like.

Of course, they can’t, but it has led to instances of littering, trespassing and rude behaviour by some. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code was drawn up as a response. It’s a way to share best practice of spending time in the countryside and near our animals with those unfamiliar with it. 

cycling in a mountainous region in Scotland

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

A person has access rights to most parts of Scotland if they act responsibly, asset out in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. It means that most of Scotland’s amazing places and wildlife can be experienced by anyone. 

The key to this, of course, is the “responsibly” bit. How can we make sure visitors know what is acceptable and what is irresponsible? This is where the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) comes in. It describes best practice in just about every instance of being outdoors. From air sports to camping; nature reserves to military lands, it’s the best source for making sure your visit to the Highlands goes without a hitch. 

a woman stands next to her tent in the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands

Wild Camping in Scotland

A major difference between enjoying the outdoors in England and Scotland is that in Scotland, you can camp in the wild outdoors. In England and Wales, apart from a few special areas, you have to camp in designated campsites. This can lead to your enjoyment of the outdoors being ruined by smelly toilets and screaming children. 

In Scotland, you are mostly free to camp up wherever you want – this is called wild camping. There are limits to this of course. You can’t simply walk into somebody’s garden, or a school field, or in a crop field. The landowner may ask you not to camp, in which case, you should leave. Wild camping does offer the outdoors enthusiast a way to experience the outdoors alone, away from civilization and under the stars. It can be the closest you’ll ever get to nature.

As camping is such a popular activity here around Inverness and Loch Ness, there is plenty of information available to help you do so responsibly. One such resource is this guide to good practice. 

A deer looks into the camera in the rain.

Sharing Our Space

Everyone is welcome to explore the Loch Ness 360° trail, and with just some consideration, we can make sure everyone has a fantastic visit. Treating our nature with respect can only enhance our love of it. If you are planning a trip to enjoy Loch Ness’ nature, please take a moment to read the access code. It could save you a lot of hassle down the road!

5 Simple Tips to Stay Safe Outside Around Scottish Animals

Getting out and about in the Scottish Highlands and on the Loch Ness 360° trail is a hugely popular activity. With…

Getting out and about in the Scottish Highlands and on the Loch Ness 360° trail is a hugely popular activity. With scenic lochs, stunning mountains and gorgeous buildings, it’s no wonder that millions of people visit Inverness and Loch Ness each year. An important part of enjoying the outdoors is being aware of how to stay safe around the Scottish animals you’ll find here. Not just wild animals but farm stock too. Here are a few tips if this is your first time in the Scottish countryside. 

A sign warning people not to enter a field for fear of a bull charging.

1. Don’t climb fences

Fences are there for a reason! Taking a shortcut across a field may sound like a brilliant idea, especially when it’s dark and there’s a pub over there, but it’s not worth the risk. Apart from the fact that there may be swampy or muddy areas (or worse – fresh cow pats) that you might trip in, you may be disturbing farm animals. Although they look benign and harmless, cows and sheep can become aggressive, especially if they are protecting their young. If you are unlucky enough to enter a bull’s field during mating season, you had better be able to run very fast indeed!

A sign warning people to keep dogs on lead as sheep are grazing

2. Keep dogs on leads near farms

Dogs – even the nicest, calmest ones – can stress out animals. They may not even have to chase a farm animal, just be close by, in order to stress them. During lambing season around Loch Ness, this can lead to sheep losing their lambs through worry. Sometimes, being chased alone is enough to kill a sheep.

Worrying livestock is a serious offence – a farmer can be entitled to shoot your dog if the flock is in danger. Be safe, and in areas where there might be livestock, keep your dog on lead. 

A sign warning people not to litter

3. Don’t litter

Littering isn’t something we should do anywhere, but it is especially important when the litter might end up killing wild animals in Scotland. Plastic bags can get entangled around the heads of small animals. Fishing line can become wrapped around delicate necks. Even dog poo bags, if left hanging on a tree or by a path, can be swallowed by horses. The old adage is most certainly true – leave only footprints, take only photographs.

A deer in heather

4. Leave babies alone

If you are out on a lovely hike and see a young lone animal, like a deer fawn, lying in the grass, with no other deer in sight, what would you do? If you said pick it up and take it to the vets, you have made a very big mistake.

It is very common for young wild deer in Scotland to be left alone in tall grass whilst their mother goes off finding food. Disturbing the animals may cause it distress. Best to leave it alone and come back a few hours later to check on its situation. Mum will probably have returned by then.

If it’s clearly in distress, or in a dangerous place like next to a busy road, it is worth calling the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) for advice before doing anything yourself. 

A grouse

5. Avoid disturbing animals

Animals and birds are brilliant, but they might not think the same about you. Getting up close to nature is wonderful – but only if nature wants that too! That’s why creeping up close to birds nests or marine life like seals is dangerous. It’s best to keep a distance to avoid causing stress to the animals. Also keep in mind that some animals and birds might fight back! 

If you want to get close to animals and Loch Ness wildlife, take a pair of binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens. Sometimes, if you are still and quiet, Scottish animals like squirrels might come up to you. Nature is best enjoyed in quiet – you’re bound to be rewarded eventually. 

Safe hiking around Loch Ness

Some of the best hikes in the Highlands and Scotland as a whole can be found in the Inverness and Loch Ness areas. These include…

The Importance of Hiking Safety

Walking and long distance hiking in the Highlands is amazing. Look at this:

Hikers along the West Highland Way on a sunny day.

Beautiful, isn’t it? Some of the best hikes in the Highlands and Scotland as a whole can be found in the Inverness and Loch Ness areas. These include the Loch Ness 360° Trail and the Affric Kintail Way. There are also many short day hikes but whatever the length, it’s important to be aware of hiking safety at all times.

Unfortunately, every year hikers get into trouble in the Highlands because they are not prepared for, or underestimate, the challenge they have taken on.

We want you to enjoy our trails and walks safely and have an amazing experience. So, here are some tips on how to stay safe when hiking in the Highlands.

Tips for Safe Hiking in the Highlands

Choose the right walk or hike for you or your group

How fit are you and what’s your hiking experience? It’s important to be realistic when choosing a hike or day walk and not take on too much.

If you’re walking in a group, always consider the youngest or least experienced group member–you’ll want them to enjoy the hike, too!

Be prepared!

Preparation is everything to ensure you make the most of your Inverness hiking experience.

A woman jumps across a stream in the Highlands.

Hiking Preparation Tick-List

Here are a few things to consider doing before starting your hike:

  • Get an up-to-date map of the area

Although many trails such as the Loch Ness 360° Trail or the Great Glen Way are waymarked, we recommend you take a map with you. This is because waymarkers can become obscured by trees or bushes or can even be damaged or missing.

It’s always a good idea to read or download a route description of the walk. These can often point out things like streams to cross, which may not be obvious on a normal map.

Visit Loch Ness 360° to find a route description of the trail. and for some more of the best Highland walks available, check out Walkhighlands.

  • Stay informed about the weather

Always check the weather conditions before you set off. If in doubt, be prepared to change your plans!

The weather in Scotland can be very changeable and things like poor visibility can not just spoil your view from the top of a hill, it can make your hike dangerous. As a result, keep checking that weather forecast!

  • Book your accommodation in advance

Many of our best hikes take you through small villages with limited accommodation options, especially during the summer months.

It’s very important to book in advance to make sure you have a bed for the night when you arrive. Similarly if you are planning to wild camp, then make sure you are familiar with theScottish Outdoor Access Code, and what to do if you are“caught short”!

  • Choose the right clothes and equipment

The weather in the Highlands can be very changeable. Therefore it’s important to be prepared for rain or shine, especially if you’re planning to be out all day and can’t just pop back to your hotel to get a jacket!

A hiker walking in the rain in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Items to Take Hiking

Here is a helpful list of items you should take with you:

  • Layers! The best way to dress for the hills is to dress in layers. This is so you can take a layer off when you get hot walking uphill and put it back on if it gets breezy on the summit!
  • Don’t forget a waterproof, even if the forecast looks good. Having all four seasons in one day is common in Scotland!
  • Good footwear suitable for hiking
  • A backpack
  • Map and compass
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen–yes, even in Scotland you can get sunburn!
  • A fully charged mobile phone (but please be aware that this doesn’t mean you can leave the map at home, many areas of the Highlands have no mobile reception!)
  • Enough food and water for the day–many areas of the Highlands are very remote and you won’t have any opportunities to buy provisions en route

Final safety checks

Great, now you’re ready to enjoy your time hiking in the Highlands! Just a few last things to consider before you set off.

Let someone know where you are!

Always make sure someone knows where you are going for a walk and when you can be expected back. This is extra important if you’re hiking solo.

Do you know who to call in an emergency?

Our visitors come from all over the world. If you’re not local, make sure you know the UK emergency numbers are 999 or 112.

Now you’re all set! We hope you have a fantastic experience around Inverness and Loch Ness and keep this hiking safety advice in mind at all times. Above all, make sure you have a great time in this gorgeous landscape!

Preparing for an Emergency: A Jobby Bloggy

Sometimes, the call of nature is all too real. One minute you’re out on the Loch Ness 360° Trail having a run around…

A man sits on a toilet in the outdoor wilderness.

Loch Ness 360°’s Toilet Blog

Sometimes, the call of nature is all too real. One minute you’re out on the Loch Ness 360° Trail having a run around, enjoying your hobby. The next, you’re running around because you need a jobby. And when we say jobby, we don’t mean a small DIY task…

Suddenly needing the toilet is all too common (especially as we get older!) but it’s even worse when you’re outdoors and potentially miles from anything that flushes. Luckily, all around Loch Ness are various places you can stop to take care of business. There are also a few rules about wild-pooing that we’d like to explain to you, so that someone doesn’t go and put their foot in it. 

A Scottish sign for the toilets, including an image of a man in a kilt.

Toilets Around Loch Ness

Many people going on the trail around Loch Ness will start at either Inverness in the north, or Fort Augustus at the southern tip. Luckily, there are public toilets available at both places. Inverness toilets include ones at the train station, and at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Fort Augustus toilets are in the Caledonian Canal Centre and at the main car park.

Such was the sheer joy at new public toilets in Fort Augustus in 2009 that a news story about their construction was written!

Along the southern shore of Loch Ness, whilst camping is a magnificent way to spend time, public amenities aren’t common so it’s useful to know where they are. This way, you can plan in advance and hopefully not be caught short. 

The Dores Inn offers a rest stop, and whilst there why not enjoy a drink or bite to eat? Further south – around the half way point – there is a lovely toilet at Inverfarigaig. It’s actually one of Loch Ness’ best kept secrets, second only to the monster. There’s a car park, and some rather lovely wooden sculptures to admire post-relief. 

On the northern shore, you can find toilets in Drumnadrochit car park. If you are able to get slightly further away from the lochside, the Abriachan Forest Trust Car Park has toilets you can use too. 

The Great British Public Toilet Map is an excellent resource for everyone out and about who may wish to spend a penny. Although you don’t have to with this – it’s free!

Jobby Bloggy

Sometimes, however, we’re miles from the nearest porcelain throne and there’s nothing for it but to wild poo. And folks – that’s okay! Better out than in.

There are a few guidelines you should follow though. Basic stuff really, like please don’t poop on the 360° route. It’s so true, it sort of rhymes. And if you will be out for the day, then plan ahead. Buy yourself a nice trowel (you’ll see why in a moment). 

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code helps ensure that everyone has statutory access rights to most of Scotland’s outdoors.  With regards to pooping outdoors, it says “If you need to urinate, do so at least 30 metres from open water or rivers and streams. If you need to defecate, do so as far away as possible from buildings, from open water or rivers and streams, and from any farm animals. Bury faeces in a shallow hole and replace the turf.”

That makes sense, doesn’t it? So for wild peeing, don’t wee into streams.  Don’t poo near anything that something might stand in, slip on or eat (urgh) your deposits. Digging a hole to go in is the best idea, if you can. Then just cover up your droppings and walk away whistling at a jobby well done. 

Some even say that if you have a dog poo bag, you could poo into that, then perhaps double-bag it for everyone’s sake before disposing of it correctly. If you try this, do let us know how you get on…

Three Scotsmen have a wee outdoors.

Whatever way works for you, please please don’t just leave your waste lying around. People regularly use the Loch Ness 360° trail, with children going on adventures and dogs sniffing out smells. We don’t want them coming home with your smell on them, do we?

So please share this toilet blog with anyone wild camping or that spends a lot of time outdoors. You never know, it may save someone’s brand new Size 11s from getting binned one day.